Wednesday, 23 January 2013

This country is, like, big.

Really fucking big.

So maybe for an American it's not weird that you can spend Saturday and Sunday on the west coast, with weather like this:

Then by Monday find yourself on the east coast with conditions somewhat less balmy:

But I definitely can't wrap my head around it.

I repeat, people.

From this (somewhere around 27 degrees):

To this (hovering around minus eight):

All this is a very long winded way of saying I just got back from a very brief trip to New York. And it was cold. But also seriously beautiful.

I feel like I'm doomed to see New York in tiny increments - I've been three times now, and not one of those stays has been for much longer than 24 hours. This time around, I had high hopes of paying a little visit to Brooklyn via the East River ferry, but after my return flight got bumped forward a couple of hours, I reluctantly concluded I didn't have enough time between finishing work and heading to the airport.

Plus, to be honest, just stepping out of the hotel made me think my face was about to shatter into thousands of pieces it was so freezing - hanging out on the river didn't sound all that appealing.

Plan B involved hot chocolate.

Serendipity is best known for its frozen hot chocolate. And there were some (clearly deranged) people in there choosing that, flying in the face of outside temperature, but I played it safe and went for the classic option.

Greedy? Yes. But I was bulking up before heading north through Central Park to the Met for an afternoon of culture. What can I say? I'm so freaking cool.

I do really love art galleries (and they're a great place to go when you're in a city on your own, like I was). But the main attraction this time around was the Matisse exhibition that's running until March.

It mainly examines how he used pairs, trios and extensively reworked his paintings as he questioned and re-examined his work - at one point late in his career, he even called in a photographer to take dozens of photos of the various stages he went through in the creation of one painting.

I highly recommend it, if you like Matisse. If you don't, never mind - the Met is ginormous. There's bound to be a room you do like. Armour? African sculpture? Old Masters? Abstract Impressionism? Musical instruments? Cafes? Art galleries always do a good cafe.

NYC, I love you. And maybe one day I'll actually have time for a more leisurely visit...


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